2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Nightclub pepper spray incident kills 21
CHICAGO (AP) - It was a chaotic scene:
hundreds of screaming people stumbling down
the darkened stairs of an illegally operated night-
club, gasping for air and stepping on bodies, only
to find themselves trapped at the bottom trying to
escape through a single exit.
At least 21 people were killed and 57 injured in
the stampede early yesterday at the crowded E2
nightclub, authorities said.
There were reports that as many as 500 people
were crammed into the second-floor club when
someone sprayed Mace or pepper spray to quell a
fight about 2 a.m.
The nightclub was operating in violation of a
months-old court order meant to close it down,
fire officials said. A judge later denied a request
by the owners to reopen.
"The owner knows damn well that he is not
to open that second-floor facility," said Fire
Commissioner James Joyce. City officials
said they plan to go to court as early as today
to seek criminal contempt charges against the
The nightclub had been cited for 11 building
code violations and the city has been in court
with the owners since last July, officials said.
Witnesses described a frenzied scene of some
people trying to climb through the ceiling, while
others were trampled in the frantic rush for .an
exit, their faces and bodies flattened against the
glass front door.
Some people fainted on the club floor; others
were coughing and crying, gagging and blindly
groping for any way out.
"'People were being trapped underneath you
... so we're actually standing on people's heads
and we didn't even know it," said Amishoov
Blackwell, a 30-year-old patron. "It was just bod-
ies laying everywhere."
Blackwell said one man crushed between
two people told him, "I can't breathe! I want
you to hold my hand, man. If I don't make it,
tell my mom that I love her!' He just basical-
Some witnesses reported that the lights were
cut in the stairwell.
Yesterday afternoon, Joyce backed off earlier
statements that firefighters had used sledgeham-
mers and pry bars to open other doors in the half-
NEWS IN BRIEF i.
HEALIESFROM AROUND THE WORLD
U.S. flies surveillance plane over Iraq
An American U-2 surveillance plane made its first flight over Iraq yesterday in
support of the current U.N. inspection mission, marking another concession by
Saddam Hussein's regime to stave off a U.S.-led attack.
Meanwhile, Iraqi state television broadcast scenes of Iraqi troops in maneuvers
to defend the country from a possible U.S. attack. State television also said Sad-
dam praised last weekend's anti-war protests, singling out those in Italy, Spain
and Britain whose governments support the strong U.S. position against Baghdad.
The U-2 flight took place only one week after the United Nations and Baghdad
broke an impasse that had kept the reconnaissance plane grounded since the start
of inspections in November. The Iraqis agreed to allow U-2 flights last week, ful-
filling a major demand by U.N. inspectors seeking to determine if Iraq still har-
bors weapons of mass destruction.
"At 11:55 a.m., a U-2 surveillance plane entered Iraqi airspace and reconnoi-
tered several areas of Iraq and left Iraqi airspace at 4:15 p.m.," the Iraqi Foreign
Ministry said in a statement. "The reconnaissance operation lasted 4 hours and 20
The statement did not indicate the plane's flight path.
"A U-2 did fly today," said Ewen Buchanan, the New York-based spokesman
for chief inspector Hans Blix.
SEOUL, South Korea
Armistice ending Korean War under fire
North Korea threatened today to abandon the 1953 armistice that ended
the Korean War, accusing the United States of plotting an attack on the
A spokesman of the North's Korean People's Army claimed that the United
States was building up reinforcements around the Korean Peninsula in prepara-
tions to attack the North, said the North's official news agency KCNA.
"The situation is, therefore, getting more serious as the days go by as it is put-
ting its plan for pre-emptive attacks on the (North) into practice," KCNA quoted
the unidentified spokesman as saying.
The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving
the countries technically in a state of war. A North Korean withdrawal from the
armistice would remove the main mechanism that is helping to keep an uneasy
peace on the peninsula, where the border between the two Koreas is the world's
most heavily armed.
The announcement is the latest move in a crisis over the North's recent decision
to restart its nuclear programs in violations of international treaties.
Friends and family of victims of the nightclub,
tragedy console each other yesterday morning.
- ~ Mabreak
The Associated Press
Publ l C.
Snowfall causes deaths,
power loss in Northeast
The worst blizzard in seven years
shut down much of the Northeast on
Presidents Day with blinding, wind-
blown snow that piled up as much as 4
feet deep and left more than a quarter
of a million homes and businesses
shivering without power.
At least 21 deaths had been blamed
on. the storm system since it charged
out of the Plains during the weekend,
piling snow in the Ohio Valley, pro-
ducing mudslides and floods in the
southern Appalachians, and making
layers of ice that snapped trees and
The storm was headed for New Eng-
land, where Massachusetts expected up
to 2 feet of snow and minor coastal
Tuesday, March 4
Wednesday. March 5
Airports for Washington, Balti-
more, Philadelphia and New York
largely shut down, stranding thou-
sands of passengers trying to leave
and get into the region.
Amtrak's north-south service was
halted between Washington and Rich-
mond, Va., and regional bus service
stopped in many areas.
The holiday meant there were few
commuters, but police from Kentucky
to Massachusetts pleaded with
motorists to stay home and some coun-
ties banned nonessential travel so they
could clear the roads.
"This is going to be days worth
of cleanup," said Maryland High-
way Administration spokesman
EU asks 'for
more time to
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - Euro-
pean leaders, trying to end their bitter
dispute over Iraq, warned Saddam Hus-
sein yesterday he faces a "last chance" to
disarm, but gave no deadline and said
U.N. weapons inspectors must have
more time to finish their work.
The statement came at the end of a
European Union emergency sumt on
the crisis with Baghdad. Diplomats
insisted they had healed the rift over U.S.
calls for military action. But significant
divisions remained, with some states
saying the United Nations could still dis-
arm Iraq peacefully.
"War is not inevitable. Force should
be used only as a last resort. It is for the
Iraqi regime to end this crisis by com-
plying fully with the demands of the
Security Council," the 15 nations said in
the joint declaration.
That was seen as a setback for Ger-
many, which has opposed war under any
"Baghdad should have no illusions. It
must disarm and cooperate immediately
and fully. The Iraqi regime alone will be
responsible for the consequences if it
continues to flout the will of the interna-
tional community and does not take this
last chance," the leaders said.
While that position will cheer the
United States and Britain, which are urg-
ing military action, there was still strong
support for continued, possibly increased
U.N. weapons inspections. The state-
ment gave no indication of how much
longer inspections should continue, but
said they could not go on forever with-
out Iraqi cooperation,
''They must be given the time and
resources that the U.N. Security Coun-
cil believes they need," the declaration
said. "However, inspections cannot
continue indefinitely in the absence of
full Iraqi cooperation."
Continued from Page 1
technology in the market are truly based
on an ability to be profitable and receive
financing, Peng said
Automotive companies like
Honda and Nissan are producing
hydrogen fuel cell technologies that
have substantial potential to reduce
carbon dioxide emissions in the
short term, Peng added. Although
very expensive for today's markets,
these manufacturers have developed
environmentally clean products,
which are currently for lease but not
for sale, Heung said.
To become a reality, the hydrogen
economy will need to overcome many
obstacles, among them technology
refinement and infrastructure develop-
SPACE CENTER, Houston
Search for Columbia
As the days become weeks since
Columbia's disintegration over Texas,
fewer and fewer pieces of Columbia
wreckage are turning up, even though the
calls keep coming in.
Yesterday, NASA asked farmers and
ranchers out West to be on the lookout
during spring plowing for anything that
might have fallen from the sky, on Feb. 1.
"It's kind of a mixed thing. There's a
tremendous amount of information avail-
able already, even though not everything
directly points to a particular thing.
There are a lot of circumstantial
things," said NASA's Steve Nesbitt, who
is serving as the spokesman for the acci-
dent investigation board.
He added that "there's a continuing
belief and feeling that things are going to
continue to develop" and that more
debris may be found.
"Everybody wants to contribute. They
all want to help and it's great. The board
certainly wants to listen,"Nesbitt said.
Israel gearing up for
Iraq missile attack
Israel has been preparing for an Iraqi
missile attack since the last Gulf War,
and now says it's ready.
A state-of-the-art missile defense is in
place. "Safe rooms" are standard in new
homes. Teams equipped against chemi-
cal weapons and inoculated against
smallpox are set to rush to attack sites.
The Home Front Command has set up
evacuation centers nationwide. Israelis
have picked up gas masks for them-
selves and tents for small children.
Despite these efforts, there's an
almost daily guessing game on whether
Iraq can and will strike Israel.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says
there's only a small threat, and gov-
ernment and military analysts seem
confident Iraq will not be able to do
what it did in 1991, when it hurled
39 Scuds at Israel - sowing panic
and inflicting extensive damage, but
causing few casualties.
to fats, study says
Some dietary fats might help pre-
vent Alzheimer's disease, others may
increase the risk and - contrary to
some reports - antioxidant vita-
mins may have no effect on the
mind-robbing ailment, two studies
The study on fats adds to growing
evidence that the same type of diet
that protects the heart may benefit
Data are more mixed on effects on
Alzheimer's of antioxidants such as
vitamins C and E and beta-carotene,
although recent studies have sug-
gested a potential benefit, and scien-
tists say a link makes biological
The discrepancy may be explained
by different study characteristics, say
authors of the latest antioxidant
research, from Columbia University.
- Compiled from Daily wire-reports.
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